San Diego County, San Diego Rat Control Situation:
Hi David, Is a UV blacklight still useful, exterior-wise, if it rains after the rodents leave their urine stains? I am in the process of performing exterior maintenance to better exclude my roof rats. 1) I have a 25 year old cedar shake roof in San Diego California with openings under each shake along the rake edge of the roof at the gable ends of my house. There's no drip edge, i.e. under the shakes I have roofing paper (now somewhat curled) that runs more or less up to and rests right atop the fascia board. Because I have skip sheathing, and since the cross section of a shake is a wedge that is up to one inch at the upper, thick end, this appears to create many huge entry points along the rake edges even though the sheathing is rabbeted into the fascia board. As a result, I'm thinking of getting a UV blacklight to use outside the house to sleuth for urine stains along the upper edge of the gable end shakes and fascia boards. My question is, how easily does the winter rain wash away the urine, rendering this a pointless exercise? 2) I noticed a new product called "rat-out gel" and was thinking of applying it along the rake edges mentioned above. Or, maybe I should just buy many rolls of X-Clude and use that instead. Or maybe both. Any comment? Thanks very much for your website, Doug
My response: First off, I do not have experience using UV lights to detect rat urine. But I do suspect that rain will severely limit the effectiveness of this approach. I have never heard of Rat-Out Gel or XClude, but I typically stick to physical barriers rather than repellent type devices. If your roof makes this impossible, you might have a tough time keeping the rats out.
San Diego Rat Control Tip of The Week
Are Mice or Rats Easier to Trap?
Mice can often be much easier to trap because they are naturally curious creatures. It often takes just one or two days to capture a mouse after setting up a mousetrap. If you're having difficulty trapping a mouse you could consider moving it to a different location. Rats can be extremely intelligent and they communicate with each other meaning that any new objects will often bring about suspicion.
Rats often reproduce at a much faster rate and this can make it difficult to control a rat problem if it's been going on for a long time. Most mice have around eight litters per year with around 5 to 6 pups in each litter. Rats can have between 6 to 12 pups in their litter.
Rats can often be ravenous eaters and often require meat or a more substantial food source in order to remain satisfied. This can often make rats very difficult to trap because they can be so fussy about their food.
Rats have a definite size advantage over mice and this often means using much larger traps and some extra measures when it comes to keeping them in a trap. Because of the extra costs of these larger traps and the need to be more careful with where you set them, the requirements to trap a rat can be considerably higher than what it takes to trap the average mouse. Most rats can reach a length of between 7-10 inches and weigh up to a pound whereas the typical house mouse maxes out around 8 inches including its tail.
It's often easier to track rats because they leave larger footprints and they can cause a bit more destruction with their added size and strength. This can make finding rats throughout your home a bit easier.